Tutorial Creating 3D Animations - MicroImages

Document Sample
Tutorial Creating 3D Animations - MicroImages Powered By Docstoc
D      Tutorial

    Creating 3D


Creating 3D Animations

                      Before Getting Started
This booklet introduces techniques for constructing and manipulating animated
3D perspectives in TNTmips®, TNTedit™, and TNTview®. Animated 3D perspec-
tives are constructed from a surface object, one or more drape objects, and a
selected path through the terrain. After you define the 3D animation, you can
view a wireframe preview, render the solid surface animation in the view window
(only a very fast computer will give satisfactory solid renderings in real time), or
create an MPEG file for later viewing and wider distribution.
Prerequisite Skills This booklet is a companion volume to the tutorial 3D Per-
spective Visualization. Take up the exercises in this booklet only after you are
familiar with the concepts in that booklet. This booklet also assumes that you
have completed the exercises in the tutorials Displaying Geospatial Data and
Navigation. The exercises in those booklets present basic skills and techniques
that are not covered again here. Please consult those booklets for any review you
Sample Data The exercises presented in this booklet use sample data that is
distributed with the TNT products. If you do not have access to a TNT prod-
ucts CD, you can download the data from MicroImages’ Web site. In particu-
lar, this booklet uses objects in the CB_DATA data collection. Make a read-write
copy of these files on your hard drive; you may encounter problems if you
work directly with the read-only sample data on the CD-ROM.
More Documentation This booklet is intended only as an introduction to 3D
animation. Consult the TNT Reference Manual for more information.
TNTmips and TNTlite® TNTmips comes in two versions: the professional ver-
sion and the free TNTlite version. This booklet refers to both versions as
“TNTmips.” If you did not purchase the professional version (which requires a
software license key), TNTmips operates in TNTlite mode, which limits object
The 3D Perspective process is available in TNTmips, TNTedit, and TNTview. All
the exercises can be completed in TNTlite using the sample geodata
                                                  Keith Ghormley, 25 April 2005
 It may be difficult to identify the important points in some illustrations without
 a color copy of this booklet. You can print or read this booklet in color from
 MicroImages’ Web site. The Web site is also your source for the newest
 tutorial booklets on other topics. You can download an installation guide,
 sample data, and the latest version of TNTlite:

                                         page 2
                                                                Creating 3D Animations

                                          Making 3D Animations
The Display Spatial Data process in the TNT prod-
ucts provides a number of flexible tools for 3D
and stereo 3D visualization of many kinds of project
materials. One of the most powerful visualization
features is 3D animation, which lets you create an
animated fly-by of any 3D surface. You can fly over
elevation surfaces (or sail over bathymetric surfaces)
for realistic animations, or you can use non-physi-
cal surfaces: any kind of raster object generated by
TNT’s analytical processes that lends itself to 3D
visualization. Your animation can follow a linear path
or a complex line, it can orbit a central point, or it can
remain at a fixed point and pan the view.
                                                             The 3D Animation process
You can define complex overlays that include raster,         in TNTmips can produce
CAD, vector, TIN, and database pinmap layers.                MPEG and AVI files that can
                                                             be played on any computer.
The general sequence of steps is:                            Below: a 3D animation that
                                                             orbits Mount Whitney in
     1. select a surface object and first drape layer        California. WHITORB4.MPG is
     2. define a flight path                                 available from the
                                                             MicroImages Web site.
     3. add drape layers
     4. record the result
Steps 2 and 3 can be mixed,
but generally it is quicker to
define the flight path on a
single drape layer while
working with the surface
object in 3D wireframe pre-
view. Even moderately pow-
ered computers can render
a 3D wireframe animation in
real time, while only very fast
computers can give satis-
factory results rendering a
3D animation in solid view.
To view a solid 3D anima-
tion, it is more practical to
create an output animation

                                             page 3
Creating 3D Animations

A 3D Animation
                                 The sample data distributed with the TNT products
                                 includes a simple 3D animation layout. Launch the
                                 Display Spatial Data process and select Open 3D
                                 Animation from the Open menu. Use the standard
   open the Display Spatial
                                 selection tools to get the PAGE4 layout from the LAY-
   Data process
                                 OUTS project file in the 3DSIM folder.
   select Open /
   Open 3D                       TNT opens three windows: an Overhead View win-
                                 dow (a familiar 2D view), a Perspective View win-
   select 3DSIM / LAYOUTS /
   PAGE4 from the TNT
                                 dow (familiar from the 3D Perspective Visualization
   sample data                   tutorial), and an Animation Controls window. The
   select the Layers tab in      Perspective View window contains a wireframe pre-
   the Animation Controls        view of the Crow Butte map quadrangle elevation
   window                        surface.
   click the Play button
   in the Perspective            Examine the playback controls in the Perspective
   View window                   View window. Click the Play button and watch the
                                 wireframe animation. The faster your computer’s
                                 processor and video subsystem, the smoother the
                                 animation appears.
                                                     Pause   Play Reverse Fast Forward

  Playback controls in the                             Fast Reverse       Play
  Perspective View window let you
  start and stop the animation.

                                            The Layers tab in the Animation
                                            Controls window offers layer controls
                                            for the surface and drape layers.
        The Perspective View window
        initially shows a wireframe view
        of the surface object.

                                            page 4
                                                                Creating 3D Animations

                                        3D Animation Controls
The Overhead View window contains the 2D dis-               STEPS
play controls familiar to you from other display               in the Animation
and visualization processes. Likewise, except for              Controls window, select
its playback controls, the Perspective View win-               each of the tabbed
                                                               panels in turn
dow contains controls that should already be fa-
                                                               after you have surveyed
miliar to you. Most of the controls unique to the 3D           the controls, close the
Animation process are found in the Animation Con-              PAGE4 layout with File /
trols window.                                                  Close in the Animation
                                                               Controls window
In the Animation Controls window, select each of
the tabbed panels in turn and examine their con-               The Edit Animation Path
tents. The Layers panel offers standard layer con-             tool in the Overhead
                                                           View window lets you
trols. The Overall panel lets you select the map apply standard drawing
projection and also reports the distance and fly time tools to the animation path.
for the current path. The Motion panel lets you se-
lect the type of animation: path, orbit, or pan. The
Viewer panel gives height and pitch controls. The Subsequent exercises will
Limits panel lets you set maximum values for ve- treat the animation controls
locity, acceleration, deceleration, and turn rate. The individually.
Manual panel reports the current path
settings from the drawing tool in the
Overhead View window, and lets you
enter exact values to fine-tune the path
parameters.                                       The Edit Animation
                                                   Path tool lets you
                                                   change the animation

                                          page 5
Creating 3D Animations

Add Surface and Drape Layers
STEPS                            Select New 3D Animation from the 3D menu in the
   Select 3D / New 3D            Display Spatial Data process. TNT opens the Over-
   Animation from the            head View, Perspective View, and Animation Con-
   Display Spatial Data
                                 trols windows.
   add CB_ELEV /                 The first thing to do in a new animation is always to
   DEM_16BIT as a
                                 add a surface layer. Click the Add Surface icon but-
   surface layer
   add CB_COMP /
                                 ton in the Animation Controls window and select
   _8_BIT as a drape             Quick-Add Surface. Use the standard selection pro-
   layer                         cess to select the raster object CB_ELEV / DEM_16BIT
NOTE: As with the 3D             from the CB_DATA folder. Notice that the Perspective
Perspective visualization        View window shows a wireframe as soon as you
process, some control            complete the selection, but that the Overhead View
parameters can cause you         window is empty: you must select a drape layer in
to lose sight of the layers in
the Perspective View             order to see anything in the Overhead View.
window. Some values may
                                 Click the Add Layer(s) icon button in the Animation
place you beneath the
surface, or looking away         Controls window and select the CB_COMP / _8_BIT
from it. If your view “goes      raster object from the CB_DATA folder. For now, add
blank,” select the Viewer        just one drape layer. A subsequent exercise will
tab in the Animation
                                 show how to enhance your 3D animation with cre-
Controls window. Try a
different Height Value or a      ative layer effects. But it is a good practice to limit
different Pitch Angle in         yourself to just one drape layer as you begin the
order to recover the view.       definition of a 3D animation.

                                            page 6
                                                           Creating 3D Animations

                                          Define a Simple Path
The Motion tab in the Animation Con-
trols window offers three types of ani-
mation: path, orbit, and pan. Select
the Path value on the Type option but-
ton. Since the Edit Animation Path tool
in the Overhead View window is pre-
selected, TNT opens the standard Line
/ Polygon Edit Controls palette. If you
are unfamiliar with these drawing tools, refer to the   STEPS
tutorial Editing Vector Geodata. If some other tool        select Path in the Type
has been selected in the Overhead View window,             option button of the
click the Edit Animation Path tool icon.                   Motion tab in the
                                                           Animation Controls
Draw a simple one-segment path on the Overhead             window
View. Notice that TNT updates the wireframe in             use the Line/Polygon
the Perspective View window to show the starting           Edit Controls tool palette
                                                           to draw a simple line
point and orientation you have selected. You may
                                                           segment as illustrated
wish to visit the Viewer tab in the Animation Con-         visit the Viewer panel in
trols window and try different Height and Pitch            the Animation Controls
values.                                                    window and try
                                                           different Height and
Click the clear button in the Line/Polygon Edit            Pitch values
Controls palette to remove your line, and
then draw another. Experiment with differ-
ent starting points and path directions.

The Line/Polygon Edit Controls are
presented in more detail in the
tutorial Editing Vector Geodata.

                                         page 7
Creating 3D Animations

Wireframe Animation
STEPS                          Use the wireframe mode for all interactive setup and
   use each of the playback    testing of your animation. Wireframe renderings
   buttons in the Perspec-
   tive View window
                               require much less processing than solid view ren-
                               derings, and thus even moderately-powered com-
                               puters can give you a reasonable wireframe anima-
   use the layer               tion effect.
   controls in the
   Animation Controls          Familiarize yourself with the operation of each of
   window to turn off the      the playback buttons in the Perspective View win-
   Hide/Show icon for the
                               dow. First click the Play button, which runs the
   surface layer
                               animation from the first position to the last. Then
                               click the Play Reverse button, which runs the same
                               animation backwards. Try the Fast Reverse and Fast
                                                 Forward buttons which drop
                                                 frames to render the animation at
                                                 4X speed. The Pause button stops
                                                 the animation at its current posi-
Turn off the Hide/Show         tion so than any of the Play or Fast buttons resume
icon for View 2 for the        the animation from that position. The Stop button
surface layer so that you
work with only the drape       also stops the animation at its current position, but
layer wireframe.               thereafter, the Play and Fast buttons re-start the
                               animations from their initial positions.
                                        Recall from your work in 3D Perspective
                                        Visualization that each layer has its own
                                        wireframe representation. Use the stan-
                                        dard layer controls to examine the color
                                        assignments for each layer.
                                           The drape layer wireframe color is red.

     If the Hide/Show icon for the
     drape layer is on, the drape
     layer’s wireframe hides the
     surface layer in the
     Perspective View window.

                                          page 8
                                                           Creating 3D Animations

                              Improve Rendering Speed
Only the fastest computers will be able to render a
3D animation so that you will be able to view the
animation effect in solid view mode. Normally,
you should define your 3D animation in wireframe
mode and then use the Record Movie button
to create an MPEG or AVI file for later viewing.
A long complex animation that uses multiple surface
layers may take an hour or more to process into an
output animation file (see page 14).                   Many other general
                                                       optimization tricks apply to
If you have a very fast computer, you may want to      the 3D Animation process
see solid renderings of your 3D animations. The        (and to all TNT processes):
                                                       • get a faster computer
process attempts to maintain the specified veloc-      • pre-process 24-bit color if
ity for viewing, and when the computer is not fast        you work in 8-bit color
enough, the process drops frames. In the most se-         mode
vere case, the process may render only the initial     • add more RAM
                                                       • get a faster video
and final frames, dropping everything in between.         subsystem
You can take some measures to relieve some pro-
cessing burden and produce a smoother 3D anima-
  • Resize the Perspective View window. The
    smaller the window, the lower the demands on
    processing power.                                  To get a preview of the
                                                       solid view before record-
  • Turn off foreground smoothing. Foreground          ing, you can pause the
    smoothing blurs the blocky, discrete image         wireframe animation at
    pixels near the viewer. It improves the appear-    various points along the
    ance, but it increases the processing load.        way and temporarily turn
                                                       on the Solid View. Check
  • Use constant altitude instead of constant height   the appearance of the fully
                                                       rendered “snapshot,” and
    above the surface (Viewer panel in the Anima-
                                                       then resume the animation
    tion Controls window).                             in wireframe mode.
  • Hide the drape layers with the layer controls in
    the Layers tab of the Animation Controls win-
  • Even the wireframe animation can be improved
    if you use a lower wireframe sampling rate

                                        page 9
Creating 3D Animations

Define a Complex Path
                              The simple straight-line path you defined in the pre-
STEPS                         vious exercise has limited real-world usefulness.
   trace the Crow Butte       More often, your 3D animations will be designed to
   drainage path as           follow some real-world feature such as a mountain
   illustrated                ridge, a canyon, or a pipeline. You can use the Line/
   play the wireframe         Polygon Edit Controls to define a path of any com-
                              plexity. Your path can cross itself many times and
   clear the drainage path
   and draw an arbitrary
                              return to its point of origin. Any 3D animation that
   path with extreme zig-     forms a closed path can be shown continuously with
   zags                       the loopback feature of your animation viewer soft-
   play the wireframe         ware.
   adjust the Maximum Turn    For this exercise, trace the drainage in the Crow Butte
   Rate in the Limits tab     map quadrangle as illustrated.
   and run the wireframe
   animation again (try       When you define a complex path, TNT automati-
   values 10 deg/s, and 100   cally smooths the turns so that the corners in the
   deg/s)                     line do not cause a jerky animation effect. The
                              Limits panel in the Animation Controls window lets
                              you adjust the parameters that control how the pro-
                                               cess handles corners. Test several
                                               control values in wireframe mode on
                                               an extreme zig-zag path.

  Use a complex path to follow
  real-world features, such as
  canyons, ridges, or roadways.

                                                Use the standard TNT line
                                                drawing tools to define a
                                                complex path, such as the one
                                                illustrated, which follows a
                                                drainage along its course.

                                         page 10
                                                              Creating 3D Animations

                                           Orbit a Central Point
A special type of circular path in the 3D Simulator is    STEPS
called an orbit. In orbit mode, the animation keeps a        select Orbit in the Type
central point as the focus of the view and moves             option button in the
through an arc or circle around it. Because it keeps         Motion panel
the same point at the center of the animation, an            drag and resize the circle
orbit gives an especially strong visual sense of the
                                                             play the wireframe
3D features of the surrounding terrain.                      animation
Select Orbit in the Type option button in the Mo-
                                                          full-circle orbit
tion panel of the Animation Controls window. The
Edit Animation Path tool becomes a simple circle
tool. Drag the center of the circle to the point you                                  initial
want as the central focus. Drag the edge of the                                       view
circle to move the orbit path closer or farther away                    focus
from the center. Drag the radius of the circle to
select the initial viewpoint.                             orbit
Other controls in the Motion tab let you select a
full-circle or just an arc, and choose the direction
of the orbit (clockwise or counter-clockwise).                                  partial orbit

You can select Full Circle, One-Way,
or Two-Way sweeps in Orbit mode.                   The Orbit tool shows the orbit
                                                   path around the focus point,
                                                   and a radius that represents
                                                   the initial viewing direction.

       Controls for the Orbit
       mode let you define
       section time, turn rate,
       sweep length, and orbit

                                         page 11
Creating 3D Animations

Pan from a Single Viewpoint
STEPS                        The final type of path in the 3D Animation process
   select Pan in the Type    is not really a path at all: the Pan mode. In pan
   option button in the      mode, the viewpoint remains fixed and the anima-
   Motion panel
                             tion pans around it. The animation is created by
   drag and redirect the
                             sweeping the direction of view through an arc or
   circle tool
   play the wireframe
                             circle that pivots around the viewpoint. Because it
   animation                 remains on one point at the center of the animation,
                             a pan gives a weaker visual sense of the 3D features
The Pan tool could be used   of the surrounding terrain. Pan views are useful for
in conjunction with output   viewshed animations and any applications where
from the TNTmips             line-of-sight is important.
Viewshed process
(Process / Raster /          Select Pan in the Type option button in the Motion
Elevation / Viewshed). You   panel of the Animation Controls window. The Edit
could drape the viewshed
output raster on the 3D      Animation Path tool becomes a simple circle tool.
Animation View.              Drag the center of the circle to the point you want
                                                  as the center. Drag the radius
                                                  of the circle to select the ini-
                                                  tial view direction. You can
                                                  drag the edge of the circle to
                                                  enlarge or reduce its size, but
                                                  the Pan tool’s circle size has
                                                  no effect on the animation.
                                                   Other controls in the Motion
                                                   tab let you select a full-sweep
                                                   or just an arc, and choose the
                                                   direction of the pan (clock-
                                                   wise or counter-clockwise).

                                                    The Pan tool shows a circle
                                                    around the central viewpoint,
                                                    and a radius that represents
                                                    the initial viewing direction.

                                       page 12
                                                                  Creating 3D Animations

                                 Altitude, Pitch, and Limits
Most default control values in the 3D Animation
process produce good animation results. Never-                STEPS
theless, you can access many specific parameters                 visit each of the panels
for exact control of the animation.                              in the Animation
                                                                 Controls window
The Motion panel lets you specify a length of time
                                                                 examine the current
for the animation; the process automatically adjusts             control values and
the relative speed. Or, you can specify a speed and              consider how those
the process adjusts the time required.                           settings produce the
                                                                 current animation
The Viewer panel lets you set the height and pitch.              play with different control
Be careful: some combinations of height and pitch                values and see if you can
can move the surface out of the view.                            predict the effect on the
The Limits panel changes the speed and smooth-
ness for starts, stops, and turns.
                                                              Values in the Limits panel
The Manual panel lets you add and modify path                 change the speed and
coordinates to achieve exact positions.                       smoothness of the animation.

Change the time or speed and the
associated value is updated automatically.

                                                       Add or modify path coordinates
                                                       to specify exact positions.

   The wrong height or pitch values
   can cause the animation to look in
   the wrong direction and not see the

                                             page 13
Creating 3D Animations

Record a Movie
                                The movie output option lets you create an anima-
STEPS                           tion that can be viewed in real time and easily dis-
   click Record Movie           tributed. A number of animation viewers are avail-
   in the General panel,        able for all types of computers. Some have sophis-
   select MPEG Movie            ticated, interactive controls that can be used to good
   Format and turn on the
                                effect for 3D animations created in TNT. Other view-
   Reduce Background
   Speckle toggle               ers may not work as well, so if you have any prob-
   in the Template panel,       lems viewing a movie, the first thing you should do
   select and position          is try a different viewer.
   Profile, Plan, and North
   Arrow elements               Start with a short movie. A 30-second MPEG movie
   in the Profile and Plan      makes a file of about 3 Mb. The AVI format is
   panels, choose styles for    uncompressed, and files are much larger, though
   path, viewer, and terrain    they do not run the risk of containing unwanted
                                compression artifacts.
   in the Graphics panel,
   choose settings for the      Click the Record Movie button in the Animation
   North Arrow                  Controls window. Apply the output options in the
   click [OK] to create the
                                Record Movie window and click [OK] to create
   animation file
                                the output animation file.

You can apply line styles, point symbols,
and fill patterns to the elements in the
profile and plan panels.

                                                The Template, Profile, Plan, and
                                                Graphics panels let you add
                                                position views to the output file.

  The General panel offers several
  options. The Reduce Background
  Speckle toggle suppresses sampling
  artifacts evident in distant features.

                                            page 14
                                                           Creating 3D Animations

                                      Creative Layer Effects
Design your animations by beginning with short,
simple animations. After you have established the
basic look and have determined which parameters
work best, you are ready to add multiple drape lay-
ers: images, vectors, CAD, TIN, and database
pinmaps. You can even add GeoFormula and SML
                                                       Several sample animation
layers. Use styles for point, line, and polygon ele-   files are posted on
ments. Of course you may wish to experiment with       MicroImages’ Web site
other 2D and 3D visualization features in the Dis-     (
play Spatial Data process in order to find the look    Play those animations on
                                                       your computer to see how
you want. In particular, consider using Shaded Re-     many of the animation
lief effects by using the surface layer for shaded     options can be selected and
relief information also.                               combined.

Several movie files created by the 3D Animation pro-
cess are available from the MicroImages web site.
Look for sample animations in
Below: NASA space shuttle
image draped on a USGS DEM
with associated contour lines
and road vector overlays. Point
Symbol indicating public Airport
or Air Strip from the Bureau of
Transportation Statistics.

                                                  Above: The flight follows a four-
                                                  lane cross-country highway in
                                                  Turkey. 3D point symbols appear
                                                  in 3D perspective and represent
                                                  highway signs.

                                        page 15
  Advanced Software for Geospatial Analysis                                                                                      3

       MicroImages, Inc. publishes a complete line of professional software for advanced                                         N
geospatial data visualization, analysis, and publishing. Contact us or visit our web site for                                    I
detailed product information.                                                                                                    M
TNTmips TNTmips is a professional system for fully integrated GIS, image analysis,                                               A
   CAD, TIN, desktop cartography, and geospatial database management.                                                            T
TNTedit TNTedit provides interactive tools to create, georeference, and edit vector, image,                                      O
   CAD, TIN, and relational database project materials in a wide variety of formats.                                             N
TNTview TNTview has the same powerful display features as TNTmips and is perfect for
   those who do not need the technical processing and preparation features of TNTmips.
TNTatlas TNTatlas lets you publish and distribute your spatial project materials on CD-
   ROM at low cost. TNTatlas CDs can be used on any popular computing platform.
TNTserver TNTserver lets you publish TNTatlases on the Internet or on your intranet.
   Navigate through geodata atlases with your web browser and the TNTclient Java applet.
TNTlite TNTlite is a free version of TNTmips for students and professionals with small
   projects. You can download TNTlite from MicroImages’ web site, or you can order
   TNTlite on CD-ROM.
     altitude ................................................ 9   north arrow ....................................... 14
     Animation Controls window .......... 4, 5                     optimization ....................................... 9
     AVI output ........................................ 14        orbit .................................................. 11
     background speckle ........................... 14             overall panel ........................................ 5
     drape layers ........................................ 6       pan .................................................... 12
     Edit Animation Path ........................... 5             path ..................................... 5, 7, 10, 13
     foreground smoothing ......................... 9              pitch and height ............................ 7, 13
     height and pitch ............................ 7, 13           plan view .......................................... 14
     improving speed ................................. 9           play animation .................................... 4
     layers panel ......................................... 5      playback controls ........................... 4, 8
     limits panel ............................. 5, 10, 13          prerequisite skills ................................ 2
     line/polygon edit controls ................... 7              profile view ....................................... 14
     line-of-sight animations .................... 12              record a movie ................................... 14
     making 3D animations ........................ 3               sample data ......................................... 2
     manual panel ................................. 5, 13          speed improvement ............................ 9
     minimum turn rate ............................ 10             surface layers ...................................... 6
     motion panel ........................ 5, 7, 11-13             TNTlite mode ..................................... 2
     mpeg output ..................................... 14          viewer panel .................................. 5, 13
     multiple layers .................................. 15         watershed animation ......................... 12
     new 3D animation ............................... 4            wireframe animation ................... 3, 4, 8

                                                  11th Floor – Sharp Tower
                                                  206 South 13th Street
                                                  Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-2010 USA
    Voice: (402)477-9554                                         email:
    FAX: (402)477-9559                                           Internet:

Shared By: